Close Reading

We were winding down the year—
Evening's gold bandage at the edge

of the sky, followed by snowfall.  
I can't remember how many gifts

of narcissus I unboxed and tended;
their papery musk and ensuing silence.

I have not quite learned how to see
such things simply for what they are 

and not as metaphor or omen. It is 
this habit of seeking text beneath 

circumstance, a footnote for every
lapse in conversation. The heart

is afraid of how much it can't hear;
the mind, of what it can't bear to change.

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